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Is Your Baby Gay? Redux

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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IS YOUR RODENT GAY? 'Mo mice?

60 Minutes posts an interesting Web-exclusive video that explores sexual identification in young kids. Among the revelations in the report: Boys who play with trucks and guns usually turn out to be straight, while precocious scamps who paint their fingernails with pink stars and pretend to be game show hosts are more likely to turn out gay. The report introduces us to 9-year-old fraternal twins (one is into Battlefield II: Special Forces and the other loves Neopets: The Darkest Fairy) and to a set of identical twins (one of whom is gay and one of whom is straight), but it's unclear whether the profiles are arguments for nature or nurture.

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One expert argues that nurture has little, if anything, to do with whether a person turns out gay or straight. Then Leslie Stahl talks to a researcher who says that by altering hormones he can tweak the gender identity of newborn, underdeveloped rats, which is "roughly the same as altering a third-trimester human fetus in the womb." And another researcher brings up the golden genetic rule that the more older brothers a man has, the more likely he is to be gay. It's fascinating, if only to watch Leslie Stahl grimace at the sight of effeminate children or hear her talking about taking a "crash course in rat sex." But why does all of this sound so damn familiar? Oh, yeah!

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